You might be a great manager, but if you want to succeed as a leader it’s important to be more than just an expert in your field. In order for people to follow you, there has to be something about you that inspires them. You have to show them how they can achieve their goals too and not just tell them what theirs should be. This is why leadership development is so important – because it teaches these skills which are mandatory for somebody who wants the responsibility of leading others.
We’re going to cover some of the most essential skills that will help any aspiring leader communicate with team members effectively and inspire those around them.
1) Build trust – if employees don’t trust their leader they won’t be willing to put in the effort required for success. If their first impression of you is that you’re untrustworthy, then your first challenge will always be to gain their faith. This doesn’t mean you have to tell them everything about yourself or be completely honest with them all the time, but it does mean not leading people on or misleading them. One way to build trust is by being approachable – even if this means spending several hours every day just speaking with employees at all levels of seniority – there’s no substitute for face-to-face communication when it comes to building relationships.
2) Be a good listener – great leaders are able to listen as well as speak because they understand that talking isn’t the same as communicating. Many people feel the need to fill the silence and so they do so by talking about what they think will interest you or whatever is on their minds – this isn’t always what you want to hear. If you remain calm and patient when your employees are speaking, even if it’s just small talk, then they’ll realize that there’s no reason not to continue the conversation with you. This might lead them to share some of their biggest problems or concerns which can be addressed in a way that wouldn’t have happened if you were talking too.
3) Be open-minded – however good you are at your job, nobody has all the answers all of the time. Many executives make a mistake by thinking their way is the best way and anyone who suggests otherwise is wrong. If you’re open to criticism and suggestions then your employees will be more likely to feel comfortable speaking freely with you about what they think. Encourage people to discuss problems that might not have an immediate solution and make it clear that failure isn’t a big deal as long as we learn from our mistakes…
4) Be optimistic – most people want to work for somebody who believes in them and their abilities, especially when times get tough or there’s too much on their plate. If things aren’t going well and morale has taken a hit, it doesn’t help anybody for you to focus all of your attention upon the negatives. Being able to direct people’s energy towards fixing existing issues or finding new and innovative ways to get things done is a key leadership skill that can inspire others to follow your lead.
5) Be generous with recognition – anything less than 100% commitment from everybody in your team will be disappointing, but you should always look for opportunities to recognize outstanding work. Even if the success belongs to somebody else, showing appreciation for it encourages everyone to do their best all of the time. You may also encourage people by allowing them flexibility when achieving their own goals. If they know they’re trusted then they won’t just be happier at work, but they’ll also put more effort into what they’re doing.
If you keep these points in mind then there’s no reason why your employees shouldn’t become some of your greatest assets. They’re always going to be your biggest fans if you show them that they’re valued and their efforts deserve recognition.
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